Vulnerable People in Darfur Receive Safe Drinking Water, Latrines

“We just ask Allah, when will we be able to stay in one place and not be scared?” The words of Mohammed Omer, 58 year old unemployed farmer are echoed throughout the village of Ammar Jaded.

Ammar Jaded is a village located in Central Darfur, Sudan. Mohammed Omer lives here with his two wives and 14 children. Before their displacement, Mohammed used to work as a farmer, harvesting and selling his crops in the local markets in Dar El-Salam, where they were originally settled. As a result of increasing tribal conicts, Mohammed and his family’s village was raided and torn apart, resulting in mass displacement and forcing them and thousands of others to leave everything behind. Mohammed and his family ed to Um Dukhun, another locality in Central Darfur.

Regrettably for Mohammed, shortly after, Um Dukhun was also attacked by armed men, who looted the houses before setting them alight, leaving a path of destruction behind them. Once again, Mohammed and his family were forced to uproot and move. Mohammed is now settled in Ammar Jaded, where he and thousands of others hope that they have found a safe and stable place to stay.

Mohammed talks of what a struggle it was to continuously relocate his family, removing his kids from schooling, due to the conflict between two tribes. “My kids now have no education and we have lost everything, our cattle, our home, our land. All of this and we don’t even know what they are fighting about, what is the reason?”

IOM Sudan’s Rapid Response Fund (RRF) is a funding mechanism supported by USAID/OFDA to provide swift response to emerging critical needs of vulnerable, newly displaced people. Triangle Generation Humanitaire (TGH) appealed to IOM’s RRF program to address the emergency needs of those newly displaced in Ammar Jaded, Central Darfur.

TGH successfully constructed 1,157 emergency latrines, 60 handwashing stations, organized hygiene promotion campaigns, and distributed over 1000 hygiene kits. Garbage cleaning campaigns were organized for 10,000 people and garbage collection dustbins were distributed in numerous locations throughout the villages to promote increased sanitation and health awareness. With furthe rehabilitation of 7 existing water points and the construction of three new wells, clean, safe water is now provided to over 29,000 vulnerable beneciaries. Water collection time has now reduced from 90 minutes to no more than 15 minutes- even for those living further out at the edge of the village.

As a result of the tribal conicts, thousands of people lost their lands, cattle together with the hope of building a future for themselves and their families. Mohammed talks of his day to day struggle to feed his children;

“Sometimes they eat, sometimes they don’t,” he says, “We used to drink very brown water before, my kids would get sicker and sicker and I could not do anything about it because I have nothing left.”

Mohammed goes on to say that he is grateful, however, as the people in the outskirts of the village did not have access to water at all; they would dig underground near the dried up wells in the hope that they would find water sources.

“For them, it was really bad, they would walk for 90 minutes to come further into the village to drink the dirty water. Now thanks to this RRF, everyone has access to clean, safe water, and less than 15 minutes walking.”